Who is Agni Kravyad? People know that fire is sacred to Hindus and Zoroastrians. Jews had it on the main altar of the one allowed Temple of Yahwah, when it existed.

Some consider consigning body to fire is polluting fire. In some places such as Wikipedia, the fire of cremation is called a form of Agni. Whereas the exact name of the flesh eating fire is Kravyad. Since Agni appears throughout the scriptures as Agni and Jatavedas, it would be a grave error to call the cremation fire as Agni.

I am looking for an authoritative scriptural reference about the difference and non-interchangeability of Kravyad ( flesh eater ) and the divine Hotar , Lord Agni.

Rig Veda 7.104.2.:

इन्द्रा॑सोमा॒ सम॒घशं॑सम॒भ्य१॒॑घं तपु॑र्ययस्तु च॒रुर॑ग्नि॒वाँ इ॑व । ब्र॒ह्म॒द्विषे॑ क्र॒व्यादे॑ घो॒रच॑क्षसे॒ द्वेषो॑ धत्तमनवा॒यं कि॑मी॒दिने॑ ॥ इन्द्रासोमा समघशंसमभ्यघं तपुर्ययस्तु चरुरग्निवाँ इव । ब्रह्मद्विषे क्रव्यादे घोरचक्षसे द्वेषो धत्तमनवायं किमीदिने ॥

Translation.: Indra and Soma, fall upon the destructive (rākṣasa) and the performer of unprofitable acts, so that,consumed (by your wrath), he may perish like the offering cast into the fire; retain implacable hatred to the haterof brāhmaṇas, the cannibal, the hideous, the vile (rākṣasa).”

Brahmadvishe, Kravyade to be hated.

Rigveda 10.16.10.:

यो अ॒ग्निः क्र॒व्यात्प्र॑वि॒वेश॑ वो गृ॒हमि॒मं पश्य॒न्नित॑रं जा॒तवे॑दसम् । तं ह॑रामि पितृय॒ज्ञाय॑ दे॒वं स घ॒र्ममि॑न्वात्पर॒मे स॒धस्थे॑ ॥ यो अग्निः क्रव्यात्प्रविवेश वो गृहमिमं पश्यन्नितरं जातवेदसम् । तं हरामि पितृयज्ञाय देवं स घर्ममिन्वात्परमे सधस्थे ॥

Translated.: “The flesh-devouring deity Agni, who has entered your dwelling, I turn him out, for the worship of thePitṛs, upon beholding this other (Agni) Jātavedas; let him celebrate the sacrifice (to the Pitṛs) in the mostexcellent assembly.”

I suppose it is self-enjoined upon us to be discerning in our choice of words using Jatavedas, Matarisvan, Vaishwanara, Narashamsa as per context.

1 Answer 1


The 4 types/steps/padas of fires are.:

Atharva Sikha Upanishad.:

स एभ्योथर्वा प्रत्युवाच । ओमित्येतदक्षरमादौ प्रयुक्तं ध्यानं ध्यायितव्यमित्येतदक्षरं परं ब्रह्मास्य पादाश्चत्वारो वेदाश्चतुष्पादिदमक्षरं परं ब्रह्म ।

1.2 The sage Atharva replied to them,” Mainly meditation has to be done on the single letter Aum. It itself is the mantra for meditation. The four legs of that mantra are the four devas and the four Vedas. The letter has to be recognized as the Para Brahman (Ultimate reality) and meditated upon.

पूर्वास्य मात्रा पृथिव्यकारः ऋग्भिरृग्वेदो ब्रह्मा वसवो गायत्री गार्हपत्यः

1.3 The first syllable Aa, indicates earth, the Rig Veda along with its holy chants, Brahma the creator among devas, Ashta Vasus among ganas, “Gayatri” among meters, and Garhapthya (the fire of the household) among fires.

द्वितीयान्तरिक्षं स उकारः स यजुभिर्यजुर्वेदो विष्णुरुद्रास्त्रिष्टुब्दक्षिणाग्निः

1.4 The second syllable Uu denotes ether, the Yajur Veda, among devas is the Vishnu who looks after the worlds, the eleven Rudras among ganas, “Trishgup” among meters and dakshinagni (fire of the south - funeral pyre) among the fires.

तृतीयः द्यौः स मकारः स सामभिः सामवेदो रुद्रा आदित्या जगत्याहवनीयः

1.5 The third syllable Ma indicates the heavens, Sama Veda with its musical sounds of Sama, among devas is the Rudra who is the God of destruction, the twelve Adityas (suns) among ganas, “jagathichanda” among meters and Ahavagni (the fire used in fire sacrifice) among the fires.

यावसानेऽस्य चतुर्थ्यर्धमात्रा सा सोमलोक ओङ्कारः साथर्वणमन्त्रैरथर्ववेदः संवर्तकोऽग्निर्मरुतो विराडेकर्षिर्भास्वती स्मृता ।

1.6 That half fourth syllable which is the hidden Ma, is the magical chants of Atharva Veda, Samvarthaka (the fire of exchange) fire among fires, marud among ganas. It is the self glittering Brahman which shines alone and sees everything.

I hope this clarifies all your queries. Prd..

  • Agree that a initiated brahman who in his lifetime continued the ritual of 3 or 5 fires ( sacrificial fires of Nachiketas ), has to be consigned using a burning fire stick from the garhapatya fire. Also refer to hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/14298/31136. Some questions do not have easy answers. I gather that I would use the term AgniKravyad for the cremation fire, and when Agni is invoked as Agni in the rituals , it is the Devata that is invoked to be kind and not hurt the body, as in the mantras.
    – ajitdas
    Commented Sep 6, 2023 at 2:49
  • Yes, u see there is no general easy answer for anything especially in sanatana dharma as the same deity can have different names while doing different activities while on the other hand in some places different dieties can also have the same name while doing the same activity. Agreed that Kravyad Agni is the flesh eating one. But as for the ritualistic one i prefer dakshināgni. Refer to this link. As it's the one that prevents any obstacles and guide the soul to the moksha, according to their karma by completing the ritual. Commented Sep 6, 2023 at 5:44
  • 1
    Thank you Swamiji.
    – ajitdas
    Commented Sep 11, 2023 at 7:35
  • U r welcome but I am not a swami. Being a swami is a huge responsibility on its own. Commented Sep 11, 2023 at 11:01

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